Do you crave for something filling, yet healthy? Don’t look any further, because the answer to your craving is simple – our indigenous millet grains! For centuries, millets have been grown and consumed in India and have become an inseparable part of our cuisine. From Bajre ki roti to Ragi upma, millets have been providing nutrition in different forms across the country. They are quite rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers – a great package for all your nutrition needs. They are not just good for the body, but also for the environment as they require comparatively lesser water.
The many health benefits of millets
Although millets have been grown for ages, over the last five decades their production has been reduced due to the large scale cultivation of wheat and rice. But the humble millet has made a comeback as everyone is now waking up to its great benefits against various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, fatigue, and stress. Almost all millet varieties have low glycaemic value which means they take time to get digested and keep you feeling full for a long time.
8 Types of millets you should include in your diet
Here are eight types of millets you can start adding to your diet:
Sorghum, also known as Jowar is grown mainly in Karnataka and Maharashtra, and in some north-eastern states. This millet is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, and carbohydrates. The easiest way to make jowar a part of your diet is to make piping hot rotis with its flour.
Pearl millet, commonly known as bajra, is also a nutritious millet variety that is high in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. It is a wholesome food that can provide numerous benefits with each bite. Get a dose of this healthy millet in idlis, and dosas, or add a few vegetables and make a tasty porridge out of it.
Finger millet, popularly called ragi, is perhaps the most versatile of all the millet varieties. This is because we have seen this millet being used in everything – from from ragi balls, ragi dosa, idli, or pakoda and it appeals to all the age groups. Ragi, just like the other millets, has detoxifying properties and helps in the brain development of growing children. So the next time your child reaches out to grab another ragi pakoda, rest assured its good for the little one’s health. Make sure however, that you use the right oil to fry it.
Foxtail millet, also known as kangni or kakum, is good for people who are looking to control their sugar and blood cholesterol levels. It is commonly available as flour and you can cause a change in the menu by using it to make fluffy pooris!
Do you love upma and idli, but still want to try different versions of them? Well, you’re in luck! The barnyard millet is a healthier alternative to the traditional rava upma or idli, and is light on your waistline too! Since the calorie value in barnyard millet is low, it is best for people who have cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
A true desi millet, the browntop millet, also called korale (in Kannada), is mostly cultivated in parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Filled with high amounts of fiber, this millet is not just nutritious but also placates your taste buds.
Not only does little millet sound nice, but it is also nice to your body – it aids in weight loss. It is also a great source of vitamin B, potassium, and zinc. So savour some pongal made from little millet, and your body is sure to thank you!
Kodo millets are a great source of nutrients, such as vitamin B6 and folic acid, and are widely popular in the southern region of India. In fact, this millet variety can grow in almost any type of soil. It keeps the colon hydrated, prevents constipation and controls blood sugar.
If you have not yet made millets a part of your daily diet, it’s high time you do. It’s an easy way to get yourself and your family on the path to good health!